Trout fishermen join Alliance effort

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dear Editor,

On Thursday evening, Dec. 6, it was a cold and windy night with rain coming down and turning to ice on the cars. In spite of the weather conditions, there was a pretty good turn out at the Springfield Nature Center, where the Roaring River Parks Alliance was invited to speak before the Missouri Trout Fishermen Association of Springfield. I would guess 25 to 30 men and women were there to hear our presentation.

Our environmental lawyer John Price started by telling them some background

on what has been happening with the appeals, stays and hearings. He gave our group high praise on what we have accomplished before he was hired. He told about DNR circumventing the stay and allowing construction to continue.

You could hear "what" and "I can't believe that" in the background. He explained about the Administrative Hearing coming up in January and seemed rather positive that we would do well.

John Robinson, former director of the Missouri. Division of Tourism, drove down from Columbia. He did a wonderful job telling what CAFOs were and how they are single-handedly destroying our land and how DNR wants to put them right next to our parks and historical sites. He told some fish stories, not real big ones. He was very informative and interesting to listen to, we sure appreciated him coming and helping.

Mark Stephenson started by showed them the map of Missouri showing all the CAFOs and what a concentration there is in and around Barry County and how the manure could be placed outside in the spring and be rained on. He showed a topographic map of the area showing where the CAFO is and where the park and river were in comparison.

Mark explained in detail what DNR has been doing and what we have done to try and correct the injustice. There were several questions from the audience. I don't remember them all but in general just not believing DNR could be siding with big business and letting the people of Missouri down with their actions.

Jim Riedel spoke on the Roaring River State Park recharge area and the reports that have come from DNR themselves on the pollution from the CAFOs above the stream. He told about the 60 million pounds of pork going to China but the manure is staying here for us to deal with.

I brought along quite a few articles on the way chickens were treated debeaking, cages, hormones, antibiotics, pictures of Ozbun's farm and what Trout Unlimited had to say about this practice of confining animals in this way.

In all everyone did an excellent job and the fishermen were beside themselves with disbelieve. Which was proven when I got home and found an e-mail saying: "Beverly, Thank your group for the outstanding program. You helped us to be more aware of certain peril to our state parks. We truly appreciated you all taking time, driving from your homes to meet with us. I will get with the treasurer and send a check for $250 to your association that was approved by the club tonight. Thanks again . . ."


Beverly Sweeney

Eagle Rock, Missouri